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White Sox complete a four-game sweep

June 29, 2007|From the Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — Finally, the Chicago White Sox might be turning their season around.

Javier Vazquez allowed one run in seven innings and Paul Konerko hit two solo homers, helping Chicago beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 5-1, on Thursday night to complete a four-game sweep.

The modest winning streak, following a 5-22 stretch, comes after General Manager Ken Williams last Sunday said roster changes were likely.

"These guys get used to controversies in the media," Chicago Manager Ozzie Guillen said. "They play with a manager that's always in controversies with the media. I think they block what happens off the field."

Vazquez (4-5) won for the second time in his last 13 starts. He gave up seven hits, three walks and had 10 strikeouts -- his 30th career game with 10 or more.

"Winning all four games was great, so it's a start," Vazquez said. "It's always nice to pitch good to get the win. Hopefully, we can play better from now on and play like we are right now."

Konerko homered in a two-run second off Scott Kazmir, and later made it 5-1 on a seventh-inning shot against Jason Hammel.

"I guess we were just due for some wins," Konerko said. "But there was no evidence leading up to this series that we would sweep anybody."

Tadahito Iguchi added a fourth-inning homer for the White Sox, who hadn't recorded a series sweep since last Aug. 11-13 against Detroit.

Ty Wigginton hit a run-scoring grounder in the fourth for Tampa Bay, which scored nine runs in the series and fell a season-worst 11 games under .500.

Kazmir (5-4) continued a season-long problem of high pitch counts, throwing 114 in 5 1/3 innings.

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